The former spokesperson of the now-disbanded Civil Human Rights Front has been sentenced to three months in jail, over yet another 2019 protest-related offence.

Figo Chan arrives at the District Court on May 18, 2021. File Photo: Kelly Ho/HKFP.

Since May, the 25-year-old has now been handed five jail terms for his roles at unauthorised protests between 2019 and 2020.

On Tuesday, he pleaded guilty to a charge of knowingly participating in an illegal assembly during a September 15, 2019 protest, Stand News reported.

Sentencing dateFigo Chan convictionsJail term
May 28, 2021Participating in an unauthorised assembly on National Day, 2019.18 months
September 1, 2021Organising and conspiring to incite others to attend an unauthorised protest on October 19, 2019.16 months
September 15, 2021Inciting and organising an unauthorised assembly on June 4, 202010 months
October 18, 2021Inciting others to participate in, organising and knowingly taking part in a banned protest on July 1, 202021 months
October 26, 2021Participating in an illegal assembly on September 15, 2019.3 months
Total jail term, with some served concurrently: 22 months

Daniel Tang, a magistrate at the Eastern Magistrates Court, ruled that one extra month was to be added to Chan’s current jail terms, as he handed down the three-month sentence. Two months will be served concurrently.

In all, Chan will serve 22 months behind bars over his roles in five unauthorised or illegal protests.

‘I completely agree’

“I dared to do it, I dared to plead guilty,” the League of Social Democrats member reportedly said on Tuesday.

After prosecutors read out his alleged offences, Chan said: “I completely agree with being arrested. I completely agree with being prosecuted two years after the fact. I completely agree that Chan Tong-kai has not been to prison, but I have.” He was referring to the alleged murderer of Amber Poon, whose case sparked the 2019 anti-extradition bill protests.

Three League of Social Democrats members unfurled a protest banner before the Eastern Law Courts Building on October 26, 2021, ahead of Figo Chan’s sentencing. Photo: LSD via Facebook.

Three fellow League of Social Democrats members unfurled a protest banner outside the Eastern Law Courts Building ahead of Chan’s sentencing. “Human rights above political regime. Peaceful protest is not a crime,” the banner read.

Protests erupted in June 2019 over a since-axed extradition bill. They escalated into sometimes violent displays of dissent against police behaviour, amid calls for democracy and anger over Beijing’s encroachment. Demonstrators demanded an independent probe into the police conduct, amnesty for those arrested and a halt to the characterisation of protests as “riots.” 

Correction 27.10.21: An earlier version of this story misstated two of Figo Chan’s sentencing dates as being in 2019. They should be October 18 and 26, 2021.

Support press freedom & help us surpass 1,000 monthly Patrons: 100% independent, governed by an ethics code & not-for-profit, Hong Kong Free Press is #PressingOn with impartial, award-winning, frontline coverage.

Selina Cheng

Selina Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist who previously worked with HK01, Quartz and AFP Beijing. She also covered the Umbrella Movement for AP and reported for a newspaper in France. Selina has studied investigative reporting at the Columbia Journalism School.